Send to

Choose Destination
Protein Sci. 2018 Nov;27(11):1910-1922. doi: 10.1002/pro.3500.

Approaching protein design with multisite λ dynamics: Accurate and scalable mutational folding free energies in T4 lysozyme.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109.
Biophysics Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109.


The estimation of changes in free energy upon mutation is central to the problem of protein design. Modern protein design methods have had remarkable success over a wide range of design targets, but are reaching their limits in ligand binding and enzyme design due to insufficient accuracy in mutational free energies. Alchemical free energy calculations have the potential to supplement modern design methods through more accurate molecular dynamics based prediction of free energy changes, but suffer from high computational cost. Multisite λ dynamics (MSλD) is a particularly efficient and scalable free energy method with potential to explore combinatorially large sequence spaces inaccessible with other free energy methods. This work aims to quantify the accuracy of MSλD and demonstrate its scalability. We apply MSλD to the classic problem of calculating folding free energies in T4 lysozyme, a system with a wealth of experimental measurements. Single site mutants considering 32 mutations show remarkable agreement with experiment with a Pearson correlation of 0.914 and mean unsigned error of 1.19 kcal/mol. Multisite mutants in systems with up to five concurrent mutations spanning 240 different sequences show comparable agreement with experiment. These results demonstrate the promise of MSλD in exploring large sequence spaces for protein design.


binding; catalysis; molecular dynamics; protein folding

[Available on 2019-11-01]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center